Stephen Burt writes:
Some writers discover their powers gradually. Others – Anne Carson, for example – spring from the head of Zeus. With three books in four years during the mid-1990s, the Canadian poet, classical scholar, essayist and translator became suddenly prominent in North America; she had found readers in Britain as well by 2001, when The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos won the T.S. Eliot Prize. A memorial to Carson’s late brother, Michael, Nox has found as much attention, and as much praise, as any book by any poet in the past couple of years. The praise is disturbing, sometimes wrongheaded, and reflects a category mistake; it also makes a good excuse to look back at the spiky virtues of Carson’s work.